WYD Diary – Day Three

On Day Three of her World Youth Day diary, Luegi Lopes, our Digital Media Officer, finally links up with some of our pilgrims from England and Wales as the Pope arrives in Lisbon.

Luegi Lopes, our Digital Media Officer, is in Lisbon experiencing her first World Youth Day. This is her diary.

Thursday, 3 August 2023

Day Three began with morning Mass and Catechesis outside in the sun in Benfica. This was the first time I was able to join up with our pilgrims from England and Wales. It was great to see those familiar flags from the home nations and to talk to our young people about how they were finding Lisbon and World Youth Day.

The ‘Rise Up’ catechesis session was delivered by Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney. His inspiring words made a real impression and lifted us all up. What stuck me was the Archbishop likening the Church to “a school for a deeper humanity.” This epitomises what World Youth Day has been like for me so far – it has offered a far ‘deeper’ human and spiritual experience than normal. Those surface-level conversations play no part here, and it feels like we’re connecting on a much deeper level – Just like I did with Javier the day before. Archbishop Fisher encouraged us to take this approach beyond World Youth Day.

After Mass, I joined the team from our National Office for Vocation for lunch. It was nice to see a few familiar faces and share how our WYD experiences had been so far.

Pope Francis arrives

So the moment had come… my first glimpse of Pope Francis in the Parque Eduardo VII. The atmosphere in the park was amazing. Groups gathered together in prayer – some crying, some screaming with joy! The impact the Holy Father made on the young people was remarkable. Everyone was elated, myself included.

The Welcome Ceremony was beautiful. In his address, Pope Francis told us the Lord has called us by name. Everyone is loved by God, he exclaimed, as we all chanted together “todos, todos, todos” – “everyone, everyone, everyone”.